Wednesday, December 6, 2017

34th Annual Mill Cities Relay

I had leg 1 for the Mill Cities Relay race: 5 runner relay from Nashua, NH along the Merrimack River, finishing up in Lawrence.  27 miles, 5 legs, 2 states, 1 river is the deal here. This is a fun event as it is a great team event of the 19 running clubs that take part. The Somerville Road Runners put some time and effort into this and it is hard not to take part in the fun. I was fortunate enough to get onto a men’s masters team.  I got a good clean start and tried to determine who else was a master runner. My goal was to be as close as possible to the lead for the category after my 5.5 mile leg. I was running either in front of or behind fellow yellow SRR Kyle Pochini most of the way.  

Two runners went past me after 2.5 miles. The first was a GLRR runner who clipped my heels twice followed by apologies. He followed to crush the 2nd half of the leg. The other was a woman from WRT who held me off by 10 seconds or so in the end. I finished up with a time of 33:10, 5:55 per mile pace for the 5.6 that my Garmin captured. I am not certain but think I was in the top 3 for the master category after leg 1. I handed off to Sanjay D’Souza who ran 6:15’s for leg 2.

Dan Verrington, Dave Dunham, Joe OLeary, and Kieran at the boat house in Lowell (3rd exchange zone)

Kieran Condon and Jason Lachapelle were there at the exchange waiting for me. We drove to the next exchange zone along the course cheering on the runners of all teams. We dropped Jason off for his leg 3 (2.5 miles) and then drove to the boat house in Lowell where Kieran got warmed up and ready for leg 4. I snapped a few photos and caught up with some folks. It was nice to be a spectator. Jason came in and handed off to Kieran. Sanjay was cooling down from the finish of his leg over to us so we finally got in the car and I drove us  along leg 4. We watched an epic battle between Kieran and Todd Prokop who had made up a 45 second deficit. They battled after 3 miles into the leg 4 all the way to the exchange zone. I am glad I got photos of that. 545’s for Todd on that leg is solid. I am sure it pushed Kieran as well. He handed off to Eric Ahearn. Our team did not know what place we were in for the masters.

Todd Prokop and Kieran battling during the long leg

Once Kieran cooled down we got in the car and drove along the course to the finish. Eric had moved up several places. He passed Dave Long from Wicked in the process who was on a masters team. I am not sure if he passed the AARC masters team but his strong finish put our team on top in the end by a minute and seven. Pretty close! We got the brick at the awards ceremony at the Claddagh Pub which was cool. Below are the top four masters teams. Our team finished 10th overall in the Mill Cities Relay. Full results.

Sanjay, Kieran, Eric, I, and Jason

10   207 SRR - 40'S THE NEW 20                              SRR     MM  JIM PAWLICKI         SANJAY D'SOUZA       JASON LACHAPELLE     KIERAN CONDON        ERIC AHERN           2:41:22

12     7 VAYA CON DIOS                                      AARC    MM  MIKE VEILLEUX        JAMES PORTER         MIKE PORTER          CHRIS BERNIER        CHRIS CLAPP          2:42:29

13   328 WICKED REPETITIVE                                  WRC     MM  JASON MATULEWICZ     BRETT RICKENBACH     CHRIS NOLIN          JOHN AYERS           DAVE LONG            2:42:42

21   173 NMC MASTER'S MACHINE                               NMC     MM  ED CHARTIER          KEVIN CAVANAUGH      KEN CARABBA          ART BESSE            JOSH CURTIS          2:51:01

My Mill Cities splits below. I raced almost 2 minutes slower than last year where I ran leg one with a 5:41 pace.

Kieran, Jason, Sanjay, and I

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